Effortless Napkins for Thanksgiving

napkin with pine needle ring
Use these beautiful Thanksgiving napkin folding ideas to celebrate fall and family. With ideas for color schemes, styling tips, and simple napkin folding, our collection of Thanksgiving napkins will be the cherry on top of a perfect table setting.

Beautiful Blues

Napkins for Thanksgiving don't have to be fussy. Add a pop of unexpected color with a turquoise cloth napkin. Bring in natural colors from the rest of the table display with wood napkin rings. Look for some with a touch of metal for a chic look, or make your own with metallic paint.

Glittering Gold

For a contemporary look, stick with plain white and gold accents. Just roll a white cloth napkin and secure with a fun gold napkin ring. Continue the gold accents throughout the table decor.

Pretty and Painted

These personalized Thanksgiving napkins use basic napkin folding and easy dot painting. On any ribbon, use a pencil eraser, cotton swab, or toothpick as a stamp. Using differente sizes, create a pattern, overlapping larger dots with smaller dots. After folding a cloth napkin with a simple pleated fold, wrap the ribbon around the center of the napkin and tie a knot. Leave the ends of the ribbon long to showcase the painted pattern.

Giving Gold

If you're more into metallic accents than traditional autumn colors, try gray napkins for Thanksgiving with purchased gold "give thanks" napkin rings. Or, make your own with metallic cardstock and lettering stamps. Using a solid-colored napkin will allow the napkin rings to be in the spotlight.

Patterned Pinecone Napkins

Get this simple seasonal napkin look by hot gluing small pine sprigs and pinecones to a solid-colored napkin ring. For a fun look, use patterned napkins for Thanksgiving.

Bronze Birds

Making your own Thanksgiving napkin decorations is simple. Get this look by hot gluing small plastic turkeys to the top of simple napkin rings. After the glue has dried, spray the rings with a metallic spray paint for a subtle finish.

Tagged Napkin Rings

These crafty baubles pack a two-for-one punch as both napkin rings and place cards. Print guests' names on decorative paper and cut to fit on metal pendant frames. Glue paper tags to the back of the pendants and string onto lengths of thin hemp (both pendants and hemp are available at jewelry supplies at crafts stores). Tie the tags around rolled napkins and tuck a wheat shock or two behind the tag.

Tied Up & Dressed Up

Turn everyday cloth napkins into something special for Thanksgiving. Place an ear of Indian corn on top of a folded cloth napkin and wrap a length of braided cord around it. Tie in a knot to secure. No fancy napkin folding required!

Tiny Gifts & Button Napkins

Treat your guests to a special holiday place setting. Embellish a plain linen napkin with brown buttons, then rest a tiny wrapped gift in the center of the napkin. Add a tag to the gift to double as a place card. 

Tiny Tags

For this cute custom look, find cardboard gift tags (or cut your own with decorative edged scissors). Write guest names on the tags, and secure sideways on a rolled napkin with a thin satin ribbon. Turn the napkin on the place setting so the tag is facing out.

Form & Function

Add a formal touch to a buffet with these simple napkin-roll sleeves, which secure a cloth napkin wrapped around silverware. Place rolls in a basket at the end of your buffet table for dinner guests to grab as they go through the line. The all-in-one silverware and napkin package is a convenient way to carry the meal necessities from the buffet to the table.

Editor's Tip: Repurpose the napkin sleeves for different holidays, using red napkins and silver ribbon for Christmas, for example.

Simply Easy

This Thanksgiving napkin folding idea couldn't be easier. If your Thanksgiving decorating style is more understated, simply roll cloth napkins and tie with a piece of twine. The result is an effortless look, but the texture of the twine reflects the nature of the season.

Tucked In

A simple fall leaf looks striking against a crisp white napkin. All you need for this Thanksgiving napkin ring is ribbon and faux fall leaves. Roll napkins and wrap a piece of white ribbon around the middle. Tie the ribbon ends in a knot around the stem of a leaf.

Highly Favored

Test out this simple Thanksgiving table decor idea. Layer a cloth napkin on top of a dinner plate and charger. Use a small, shallow leaf-shape dish to anchor the napkin in place. Fill the dish with fall-color candies as a Thanksgiving favor for guests.

Family Tree

Decorate your holiday dinner table with napkins and napkin rings that match the season. You can be creative and combine unexpected items or go for a more traditional look. Give your table settings a personal touch by tying napkins with ribbon printed with a seasonal message. Use a permanent marker to handwrite names on dried or fresh leaves for place cards.

Wheat Garnish

Here's a simple garnish for a place setting. All you'll need are 12-inch lengths of ribbon and stalks of wheat cut to about 8 inches. Fold or roll the napkins, loosely tie a ribbon around the center, then slip three stalks of wheat under the knot—the perfect Thanksgiving look.

Rosemary-Scented Napkins

Get this effortless look with simple napking folding and fresh rosemary. Embellished with a tiny sprig of fragrant rosemary, this napkin forgoes a fussy treatment in favor of casual simplicity.

Ribboned Thanksgiving Napkins

This napkin idea can be adapted to suit any celebration or season. Tie pretty red silk ribbon in a simple knot, then adorn with a sprig of greenery. Use a metallic ribbon for a more modern look.

Acorn Napkin Tie

Bring nature to the table with a pretty do-it-yourself napkin tie by embellishing velvet ribbon with twigs and acorns. Simply secure the end of the twig in the knot of the ribbon. Look for unique faux acorns (like this pearl acorn) for a more elegant look.

Rosemary Napkin Rings

These napkins for Thanksgiving utilize your garden's bountry. Make enchantingly-scented rosemary rings up to four hours before use. Overlap the two ends of the sprig on the back of the napkin, and secure with green floral wire. 

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.